A disturbing post of a severely frail looking elephant allegedly used for cruel purposes has gone viral as an elephant charity begs tourists to condemn the practice.

Images posted to social media show "Tikiiri, a 70 year old ailing female" in Sri Lanka who is allegedly forced to carry a man for many kilometers as part of the Perahera Festival.

This is Tikiiri, a 70 year old ailing female. She is one of the 60 elephants who must work in the service of the...

Posted by Save Elephant Foundation on Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The elephant must parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights "amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke", claim the charitable Save Elephant Foundation.

It's unclear when the photos of the emancipated elephant were taken, but the foundation shared a photo showing a frail, emaciated elephant, and another of an elephant wearing a festival costume.

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"No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume."

"Today is world elephant day. We cannot bring a peaceful world to the elephant if we still think that this image is acceptable."

World Animal Protection estimated that 3000 elephants are currently being used for entertainment throughout Asia, with 77 per cent being inhumanely treated.

According to UK publication Metro, the temple which hosts the festival has said they "always care about the animals".

Metro says it contacted a spokesperson for the temple, who said the elephant had been looked at by a doctor. A petition calling for her rescue has been signed by nearly 10,000 people.